Tru-Oil Information Needed

simple

Senior member
Staff member
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2,101
On of the most popular do-it-yourself wipe on finishes is Birchwood Casey Tru Oil. Amber in color and easy to apply, this creates a hard finish while going on more like an oil. Because is does harden up, Warmoth considers it an acceptable finish that complies with their warranty requirements on necks. You can also build up many coats for a high gloss look.

You can find it at most gun shops (since it is used for gun stocks) for around $5 a bottle. Tru-oil was such a popular thread at our old message board, I hope that members will repost their pictures and personal experience with this type of finish here for everyone to know about. Thanks!
 

Ayrton

Active member
Messages
39
Fantastic finish and I have used it on all my Warmoth necks and a couple of bodies. Easy to buy, easy to apply and looks great.

 

snouter

Active member
Messages
35
Tru-oil is also available at the some of those giant mega-Mart store and in smaller wood-working specialty stores.  People might be wondering the difference between Tru-Oil and the easy to find Tung-Oil available at giant mega-Mart and giant home improvement stores.  In my experience with the two products on guitar bodies, Tung-Oil does not build up and it leaves the wood feeling more natural but of course it does not offer the protection from the elements Tru-Oil provides.       
 

rahimiiii

Senior member
Messages
311
Ayrton said:
Fantastic finish and I have used it on all my Warmoth necks and a couple of bodies. Easy to buy, easy to apply and looks great.

If you're in US or Canada then its easy, in Asia no one heard of a tru oil and since guns are illegal there isnt any gun shop. I use lacquer because I can find it...
 

CD

Senior member
Messages
573
I'm a bit confused. Gregg, let's say I order an unfinished neck and plan on using my can of Tru-oil on it. If when it arrives it's warped can I send it back for a refund?
 

simple

Senior member
Staff member
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2,101
CD said:
I'm a bit confused. Gregg, let's say I order an unfinished neck and plan on using my can of Tru-oil on it. If when it arrives it's warped can I send it back for a refund?

Of course. And if you apply the Tru-oil correctly, that warranty on the neck is good for a year!
 

Jimmy Jingles

New member
Messages
19
Sorry if this has been discussed before...


How much of a tint will you have with True-Oil, and how does it feel?

Is it tacky/glossy, or does it have a 'satin' type feel?


Also, (I hope this doesn't sound too dumb), on a maple/maple neck, I'm assuming I would finish both the back AND front of the neck?


Thanks!!!
 

Wyliee

Senior member
Messages
1,931
Jimmy Jingles said:
How much of a tint will you have with True-Oil, and how does it feel?

Is it tacky/glossy, or does it have a 'satin' type feel?


Also, (I hope this doesn't sound too dumb), on a maple/maple neck, I'm assuming I would finish both the back AND front of the neck?

I've done several necks with Tru-Oil now and there seems to be very little tinting.  It dries fairly quick but is soft for a few days.  I usually wait a couple days between coats to let it harden a bit and buff.  You can get a fairly nice gloss if you buff it out.

Yes, on a maple/maple neck, you need to do the entire thing.

-Eric.
 

thumb55

Senior member
Messages
420
I did a Tru-Oil Korina strat with a Birdseye Maple / Ebony neck (also Tru-Oil)

here is some advice...

1) Sand the Body/Neck step by step from 220 to as fine and smooth as you want to go. (I went to 1200 on the body)

2) Make sure you use Naptha or something to remove the possable hand oils from the wood before starting with the oil.

3) Use light coats every 4 to 6 hours (depending on humidity,  8 hours could be needed between coats)
     just remember make sure the finish is dry before you move onto the steel wool or ultra fine sandpaper between coats.

4) Be careful the first few times you use the steel wool.  It has a way of embedding itself into the pores of the wood.

5) Be careful if you have Wilkinson or Floyd rose studs installed on the body before you do your finish.  If oil gets into the threds you  will have problems.   Cover the hole with tape or something to be safe.

6) depending on the look and feel you want you will need between 12 and 20 coats.

7)  when you finish your last coat you will need to let it set for at least 2 weeks (3 or 4 are better, once again humidity) the finish is very soft and will scratch and dent very easily.

8)  BE PATIENT!  you can't rush the process.
 

CD

Senior member
Messages
573
I was under the impression that Tru-Oil left the body basically feeling unfinished, yet protected against the elements.

Do you really need to sand, apply, sand, and apply coat after coat?
 

thumb55

Senior member
Messages
420
the sanding dosen't take the feel of the grain away, it just smooths it out.  steel wool (0000) takes the gloss off the finish if you choose to do it that way.  I didn't go the "high gloss" route.  I'll post some pic's of my strat so you can see what the difference is.

I posted some pic's under the strat section...

sorry but you really need to do the sand/apply/buff/re-apply thing....it's worth it though.  Easier than ANY other finish.  Very thin, sounds great!

 

Ayrton

Active member
Messages
39
On necks I scuff between coats with 0000 steel wool, and then leave the final coat un polished. I do however, build up the finish a bit on the headstock so I can go back and sand/polish to a nice shine.
 

terryblulite

New member
Messages
11
Here's a shot of my Warmoth J neck finished in TruOil.Satine and ebony,no stain,no filler,just 5 coats with a little light buffing using a fine white synthetic pad.It's a bit glossy here because I haven't buffed the last coat.It's more "satiny" now.Looks and feels great. Terry  An added comment- everything "thumb55" said in the previous posts! Pretty much spells it out.Myself,I don't care for TruOil on softer woods.I wasn't thrilled with it on a swamp ash body,but it's great on walnut(gunstock in my case) I'm going for a minimal finish on this bass.TruOil on the neck,with a shellac sealer and some satin nitro on the body.If you know what unfinished satine/bloodwood looks like-this photo should give you an idea of  the finished look you'll get with TruOil.This is cropped and reduced for the upload-No color editing at all.A combination of the camera flash, flourescent and halogen flood lights was used.The old towel the neck's on was washed with a red flannel 'fender cover' -hence the slight red tinge.Since this wood is pretty stable in the raw,I purposely went very light on the overall final thickness of the finish.The cured TruOil reminds me of very thin layers of a varnish.You don't give it a "coat" - it's more like depositing a thin film each day.Apply this stuff to the entire body or neck each time you put it on-don't leave part of it uncoated till tomorrow-you'll see it.There is a lot of open grain on this neck-doesn't bother me at all.I'll just have to wait and see how it plays and feels season to season.

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